The Francis Crick Institute
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Pax9 is required for cardiovascular development and interacts with Tbx1 in the pharyngeal endoderm to control 4th pharyngeal arch artery morphogenesis.

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-01-10, 16:50 authored by Helen M Phillips, Catherine A Stothard, Wasay Mohiuddin Shaikh Qureshi, Anastasia I Kousa, J Alberto Briones-Leon, Ramada R Khasawneh, Chloe O'Loughlin, Rachel Sanders, Silvia Mazzotta, Rebecca Dodds, Kerstin Seidel, Timothy Bates, Mitsushiro Nakatomi, Simon J Cockell, Jürgen E Schneider, Timothy J Mohun, René Maehr, Ralf Kist, Heiko Peters, Simon D Bamforth
Developmental defects affecting the heart and aortic arch arteries are a significant phenotype observed in 22q11 deletion syndrome patients and are caused by a microdeletion on chromosome 22q11. TBX1, one of the deleted genes, is expressed throughout the pharyngeal arches and is considered a key gene, when mutated, for the arch artery defects. Pax9 is expressed in the pharyngeal endoderm and is downregulated in Tbx1 mutant mice. We show here that Pax9 deficient mice are born with complex cardiovascular malformations affecting the outflow tract and aortic arch arteries with failure of the 3rd and 4th pharyngeal arch arteries to form correctly. Transcriptome analysis indicated that Pax9 and Tbx1 may function together, and mice double heterozygous for Tbx1/Pax9 presented with a significantly increased incidence of interrupted aortic arch when compared to Tbx1 heterozygous mice. Using a novel Pax9Cre allele we demonstrated that the site of this Tbx1-Pax9 genetic interaction is in the pharyngeal endoderm, therefore revealing that a Tbx1-Pax9-controlled signalling mechanism emanating from the pharyngeal endoderm is required for critical tissue interactions during normal morphogenesis of the pharyngeal arch artery system.